Mazel Tov: Growing numbers of Americans believe Obama is Jewish – poll

Barack Obama visits the Jewish Western Wall in the Jerusalem (AFP Photo / Manaheem Kahana)
A growing number of Americans believe incumbent President Barack Obama adheres to the Jewish faith an AP poll revealed. Despite repeated assertions that he is a Christian, Obama’s faith remains a subject of conjecture and conspiracy in US society.

­The questionnaire released by the Associated Press compared current US public opinion on Obama’s religious beliefs to that of 2010, a year after he assumed the presidency.

Around 28 percent of respondents correctly identified President Obama as a Protestant A majority, 35 percent, believed he has no religion, compared to two percent in 2010.

The investigation revealed a reversal of public opinion since Obama was elected in 2009, when 17 percent of respondents thought he was a Muslim, and none believed he was Jewish.

Respondents suffered from no such confusion when asked about the faith of Obama’s rival, Republican candidate Mitt Romney, with 67 percent correctly identifying his faith as Mormon.

Despite speculation over the faith of leading US politician, Americans largely agree that religion has no bearing on whether or not they would vote for a candidate in the presidential elections.

The same survey also revealed that 51 percent of Americans harbor anti-black sentiment, a figure that has grown by three percent over the past few years. The survey revealed that the growing US Hispanic and Latino population is also viewed poorly, with 57 percent of respondents expressing negative views.

Obama is currently trailing Romney 38 to 59 percent among white voters according to recent polling. A Washington Post investigation released last week showed that this year’s election is likely to be most racially divisive since 1988.

Obama’s religious background has been a disputed subject since his election three years ago. Many conspiracy theories have arisen linked to Obama’s ethnic background, claiming that he secretly practices Islam and swore the presidential oath on the Koran, instead of the Bible.

Obama has addressed these claims and answered questions on the subject a number of times, categorically stating in 2010 that he is a “Christian by choice.”

“My family didn't – frankly, they weren't folks who went to church every week. And my mother was one of the most spiritual people I knew, but she didn't raise me in the church,” Obama told reporters.

Obama’s mother, with whom he lived for the majority of his childhood, was reportedly agnostic. However, both his father and stepfather were Muslims, giving rise to much of the conjecture over the President’s faith.